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Globecomm, AT&T to create network for ‘Internet of Things’

Technicians operate the console in the control room

Technicians operate the console in the control room at Globecomm headquarters in Hauppauge. Photo Credit: Globecomm

Satellite communications provider Globecomm is working with AT&T Inc. to launch a new “Internet of Things” service that will let businesses track products and equipment around the world, even in remote locations, the companies announced Monday in Germany.

The new service, unveiled at the Hannover Messe industrial technology trade show, would merge the satellite coverage of Hauppauge-based Globecomm with AT&T’s cellular network on a single service.

Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

President Barack Obama toured Hannover Messe Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

About 5,000 companies from 70 countries were expected to exhibit.

“Businesses want more real-time visibility into their assets on a global scale,” Jon Kirchner, Globecomm senior vice president, corporate strategy and product management, said in a statement. “We’re working with AT&T to offer seamless connectivity over a single platform. We’re helping businesses collect and analyze critical information wherever their assets are . . . on land or at sea.”

Technology researcher Gartner Inc. forecast that by 2020 businesses will track 7.3 billion items via the Internet of Things — often abbreviated as IoT — and spend $1.48 trillion on related hardware.

WiFi-connected devices such as smart lights, refrigerators and thermostats are beginning to take root in modern homes. Businesses, however, may station assets such as oil pipelines, ships, tractors or generators in remote regions beyond the reach of cellular networks.

Globecomm has a history of providing services for government, military and humanitarian aid organizations in far-flung locales. In Afghanistan it built a national mobile phone network and a system to help international military forces allied with the United States track friendly units and avoid unintended casualties.

Mike Troiano, vice president, AT&T IoT Solutions, said that adding Globecomm’s satellite service to the cellular network creates a seamless solution.

“We’re offering a one-stop shop for IoT connectivity,” he said. “Our customers . . . don’t have to choose one connectivity solution over the other — they can have the full package.”

Clients of the service will be offered a satellite-only option to connect stationary assets beyond cellular coverage areas or a dual-mode cellular and satellite network option that keeps assets connected as they move.

AT&T has a cellular presence in 130 countries, a Globecomm spokesman said. Globecomm, which runs a broadcast center in Hauppauge for CBS Inc.’s Showtime Networks, operates as a wholesaler of satellite services around the world.

In 2013, publicly traded Globecomm was taken private in a $340 million transaction by Manhattan-based private equity firm Wasserstein & Co.

In March, Globecomm chief executive Keith Hall stepped down and chief financial officer Jason Juranek was named interim chief executive during the search for a permanent candidate.

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